Kings President Luc Robitaille sees fan base growing

Second title in three years feels different to Kings President Luc Robitaille: 'There is a buzz around town'

There was always energy and enthusiasm surrounding the Kings during the Wayne Gretzky Era.

Gretzky took the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens. But when he was traded in 1996, interest in the team waned.

The fans have returned, with the Kings winning the Stanley Cup two of the last three seasons. But this feels different to Luc Robitaille, the team’s president.

“There is a buzz around town,” Robitaille said. “So many kids are playing hockey now that there is a shortage of ice time. What is cool about the fan base is they might never have played, but they’re now hooked."

Goaltender Jonathan Quick and the workmanlike Kings are easy to love.

“We have stars, but they are homegrown, [Anze] Kopitar, [Jonathan] Quick,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about the team. I think our fans have adopted that concept.”

The Kings will never surpass the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but Robitaille pointed out that the Rangers will never overtake the Yankees in New York.

“In New York, a Ranger player can walk around the city and no one knows who he is,” Robitaille said. “But you play for the Rangers and everyone comes to watch you.”

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World